The Gunnery girls' ice hockey team's flair for the dramatic served the defending champion Highlanders well in the recent New England championship tournament.

Coach Harry Geary's fourth-seeded skaters won twice in overtime and three times overall to capture a second consecutive title in Division II.

"Congratulations on winning the championship for the second year in a row," Head of School Peter Becker said to the team.

"It is an incredibly difficult task to defend a title and you were able to do that through hard work, dedication, and commitment."

On the heels of a 15-4-1 regular season, the Highlanders first dispatched Proctor Academy, 3-1, in a quarter-final match.

Gunnery then ousted top-ssed Rivers School in overtime in the semifinals and claxed their memorable skate by outlasting Brooks School in double overtime in th etitle match.

"We spoke to the team and let them know that: the more difficult the task, the more obstacles they had to overcome, the more significant would be the end reward," reflected assistant coach Hugh Caldara.

"We reminded the team daily that we had enough talent in the room to win," he added, "but only if everyone applied themselves to the task and put aside their own agendas for the sake of the team and the end goal."

Anchoring the Highlanders' performance in the nets was Sam Walther (2014), the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

Team members included area student/athletes Claire Lee, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lee Jr., of South Kent, and team manager Grace van Tartwijk ('17), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Johannes van Tartwijk, of Washington.

For more information about the Highlanders, visit www.gunnery.org.